A circus act featured at two Nevada casinos has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for mistreatment of its big cats. Dirk Arthur's Wild Magic show, an act featured at two Harrah's casinos in Reno, outside Las Vegas, was named for declawing lions and tigers, keeping a snow leopard in a rusty cage, chaining a bobcat in a dangerous way and for cramped cages.
According to AP, a spokesman for Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns the casinos, said the company is taking the matter seriously.
"As soon as we were made aware of the issues, we informed Dirk Arthur he must address and correct them, which he has been actively and diligently doing," spokesman Gary Thompson said.
Animal rights advocates are calling for people to boycott the shows, which feature illusions and big cats.
"These sorts of citations are the industry standard for people who profit from these shows," said Carney Anne Nasser, an attorney for the PETA Foundation. "Big cat exhibitors are notorious for simply warehousing tigers and other cats in transport cages that are barely bigger than their bodies, and totally disregarding the USDA requirements that they set up exercise areas."